Norman Granville Kesling, 84, Logansport, passed away at 1:24 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017 at Logansport Memorial Hospital.
Born Oct. 19, 1933, in Onward, he was the 6th-born child of the late Fred Cecil and Anna Rosezella (Fitzer) Kesling.
At the age of 5, Norman and his family moved to Royal Center where he attended school. He was a 1951 graduate of Royal Center High School. Norman enjoyed get-together's with his classmates over the past 66 years.
Following graduation, Norman worked at RBM during the day and attended night classes at Indiana University-Kokomo. In 1956, he enrolled full-time at Purdue University to pursue his degree in Pharmacy. In 1960, Norman graduated from Purdue University with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.
Norman first worked at Walgreens for one year before joining the staff at the Logansport State Hospital where he set up the pharmacy department. In 1961, Norman and his brother, Estell Kesling, founded Kesling Drug Store on the west side of Logansport. Norman continued working days at the State Hospital until the family business was firmly established. The store quickly became a Logansport icon known for friendly customer service, dependability and carrying a little bit of everything. Long before big box stores, Kesling Drugs was the place to go it was always open and the atmosphere made it an enjoyable place to shop, especially during the holidays.
The Kesling brothers were proud of the fact that the drug store was voted one of the Top 50 Independent Drug Stores in the United States for several years. The store was open 365 days a year until it was sold in October 1996. Several large chains had offered to buy them out over the years and the time was right to sell at their peak and enjoy retirement.
Norman attended All Saints Catholic Church. He was a lifetime member of the Royal Center Masonic Lodge and the Order of Eastern Star, the Logansport and Murat Shrine Clubs, the Indianapolis Valley of Scottish Rite, the Elks Lodge and the Logansport Service Club, formerly known as the Evening Exchange Club. He was a proud member of the Purdue Alumni Association and the Purdue Club of Cass County. Norman volunteered for many causes in the area including the Cass County Historical Society, Mental Health America and the Cass County Carousel. As a businessman, he sponsored many youth activities and sport teams over the years. He and his wife were longtime patrons of the Performing Arts Council and enjoyed attending events at McHale Performing Arts Center.
Norman had met Mary Lou Marocco while working RBM and became good friends until he left for Purdue. They saw very little of each other for years, each busy with their own family and careers, until they met many years later and renewed their old friendship. On Aug. 7, 1987, in Carmel, he was united in marriage to Mary Lou (Marocco) Wedekind Kesling, who survives. When the priest who presided at their wedding asked how long they had known each other, Norman replied, "35 years ... I didn't want to rush into it." The couple have had a wonderful life together, traveling the world and making many beautiful memories.
Surviving with his wife of 30 years are one daughter, Beth Ann Kesling (fiancé Kelly W. Ohmann), of Tipton; one daughter-in-law, Suzanne Kesling, of Avon; three stepdaughters, Cynde (John) Barnes, of Naples, Florida, Staci Wedekind of Logansport, and Shelle (Reinhard) Liebner, of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin; three brothers, Irvin (Bea) Kesling, of Kokomo, Estell (Mary) Kesling, of Logansport, and Willis Kesling, of Royal Center; brother-in-law and best friend Louis (Margo) Marocco and brother-in-law William Albright, all of Logansport; eleven grandchildren, Chelsea Beth (Alastair J.) Leach, Chloe Ann (Adam W.) Shadwick, and Christa Jane Howerton, all of Indianapolis, Brandon Bledsoe, a student at Purdue, and Morgan M. Kesling and Nathan G. Kesling, both of Avon, Miranda Beck-King (Richard King), Heather (Marcus) Jonas, Bradley (Maggie) Liebner, Eric (Julie) Liebner and Drew (Emily) Liebner; great-grandchildren, Adele Jayne Leach whose little brother, Aitken Paul Leach is due to be born in February 2018, Vincent, Elliott, and Lillian Beck-King, Carsten and Caleigh Jonas, Katelyn, Benjamin, and James Liebner; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his son, Mark A. Kesling, who sadly passed away unexpectedly on Aug. 9, 2017; one sister who was always very special to him, Mary Elizabeth, and her husband John W. Fisher; and two brothers Bob Kesling and Dick (Doris) Kesling.
A funeral service celebrating the life of Norman Kesling will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 22 in Fisher Funeral Chapel with Fr. Dominic Petan officiating.
Interment will follow in the Mount Hope Cemetery, Logansport.
Friends will be received from 4-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21 in the funeral chapel.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children and Cass County Historical Society.
You may share condolences in his guestbook and view Norman's tribute video at www.fisherfuneralchapel.com
Published on December 18, 2017